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Franz Gertsch. Blau.

Franz Gertsch has been immersed in an intense ultramarine blue phase since 2019. In the Museum Franz Gertsch, another painting is experiencing its world premiere: "Blauer Waldweg (Campiglia Marittima)"
Franz Gertsch, who turns 92 in March 2022, painted his last five large-format paintings with genuine ultramarine blue pigment, which is extracted from the semi-precious lapis lazuli stone mined in Afghanistan. For ‘Grasses VIII’ he even used the highest-quality form of the paint, Fra Angelico blue, which is produced in accordance with an old recipe. We are looking here at a late work in which the motifs that have been familiar to us from his works for many decades – grass, butterbur and forest landscapes – are awash in a single hue, namely blue.
Since 2019, the artist has been in whole immersed in an ultramarine blue phase. Yet he is still always questioning and developing his work. For the first time in decades, he emphasised the painter's personal style in 'Blue Summer'. His application of paint became increasingly impasto, the brushstroke itself more visible with the use of a soft brush. The manner in which Gertsch deals with slides on which he has modelled his paintings and woodcuts since 1969 has changed, too. While the photograph of the summer landscape, which was also the model for the painting from the Four Seasons cycle, was used for ‘Blue Summer’, ‘Gräser IX’ was very loosely based on his own woodcut ‘The Large Grass’ from 2001 and ‘Blue Butterbur’ on a slide of his own woodcut 'Butterbur (Prospect)' from 2005.

Another painting that is now having its world premiere at the Museum Franz Gertsch is 'Blue Forest Path (Campiglia Marittima)' (2021), which is being exhibited for the first time together with the other works from the blue phase. It is a reprise of the motif from 'Forest Path (Campiglia Marittima)' (2013/14) in ultramarine blue. When you look carefully at the five paintings from up close, you notice that each one has been rendered differently. And one notices that other colours are also involved: Lapis lazuli blue is joined by blends of white and black, as well as other shades of blue that Gertsch applied with a pencil and partially blurred and painted. The ultramarine blue tone has been given secondary tones.

Additional paintings and woodcuts round off the presentation of the artist's late work.
Blauer Waldweg

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